Sunday, August 22, 2004

Slimmer, trimmer school systems await students this year

A sampling of cuts Greater Cincinnati students will find in schools this year:

Butler County

Edgewood: Class size grows from 22 to 27 students per teacher. District instituted hiring freeze and eliminated half-time administrator, high school teacher, two elementary teachers and media specialist. Textbook purchases limited, and field trips reduced. Busing eliminated for grades 9-12 and reduced for other grades. Students pay fees for athletics and most school clubs. Grounds maintenance cut back. District delaying technology upgrades.

Fairfield: Cut nearly 25 teaching positions. Class sizes have grown, and fewer courses offered. Textbook purchases and maintenance budgets reduced. High-school busing eliminated, and 14 bus-driver positions cut. Parents started pay-to-play program after funding for after-school sports and clubs eliminated.

Lakota: 29 teaching positions cut despite additional 445 students. Staff cut at Central Office, administrative pay frozen, most overtime eliminated. Some $628,000 in textbook purchases postponed, spending reduced for substitute teachers. School fees and pay-to-play fees increased. If Nov. 2 levy fails, busing for grades 10-12 will end in January.

Madison: High school counselor cut; uncertified person will oversee in-school suspension center.

Middletown: Eliminated 45 positions, reduced capital improvement projects by 15 percent, decreased spending on supplies and materials by 5 percent.

Ross: Cut transportation for field trips, funding for spring musical, driver education, "B" basketball at middle school. One bus purchase allowed per year. Reduced textbook purchases, building budgets and technology purchases, including 50 computers instead of 150. Raised participation and school fees. Instituted salary freeze and halted new hires. Teachers hired for replacement spots first-year teachers at bachelor's level.

Talawanda: Nine teaching jobs eliminated with 2003 closing of Stewart Elementary. District eliminated one administrative job, 1.5 teaching and one part-time resource officer position. Participation fees increased. Department budgets reduced.

Clermont County

Milford: Cut two assistant elementary principal positions; purchased natural gas for winter at summer prices; started leasing program for computers instead of purchasing.

Goshen: Cut one resource officer, and reduced head cook positions from five to four. Cut technologist position, team leaders and director of facilities. Moved assistant athletic director position to supplemental contract. Eliminated summer school, reduced bus routes, cut janitorial budget and reduced high-school custodians. Cut office hours of Board of Education staff, eliminated alternative school program, reduced one cafeteria monitor, trimmed professional development.

Hamilton County

Cincinnati: Has hiring freeze across the district.

Finneytown: Reduced staff by 4.75 teachers in grades 3, 4, 6, as well as high school English and math, and middle-school science, social studies and music. Reduced 1.5 clerical staff in board office and secondary campus. Trimmed spending by more than $405,000 for capital equipment and other purchases. Areas particularly affected: computer and bus replacement.

Mt. Healthy: Eliminated 10 teaching positions, one custodial job and two administrative positions. Restructured administrative positions, saving district $125,000.

Reading: Teaching staff cut by two jobs; eliminated department chairs for curriculum and instruction. Cut maintenance supervisor. Cut varsity assistant-coaching positions. Reduced maintenance and technology budgets.

Sycamore: Staff cuts of 82.57 position equivalents, including 42.57 teaching positions, five technology support staff, two administrators and 33 classified employees (custodians, educational assistants, paraprofessionals and secretaries). Reduced building department budgets. Delayed K-4 social studies textbook purchase. Cut capital improvement and technology projects. Implemented administrative salary freeze. Cut activity buses at Greene, junior high and senior high schools. Consolidated bus routes.

Three Rivers: Cut 12 teaching jobs, two classroom aides, two administrators, 11 bus drivers. Class size will increase at first and fourth grades. No band at fifth grade or home economics at high school. No assistant principal at middle school. Busing cut at high school and reduced for K-8. Pay-to-participate fees increased. Field trips cut. Building supplies and materials cut 30 percent. Maintenance and repair budgets cut 30 percent.

Winton Woods: Staff cuts of 41, including 23 teaching positions. High school busing for public, parochial and private school students. Increased student and pay-to-play fees. All-day kindergarten parents will pay $200 a month per child for half day of all-day program. Eliminated plans to repair and replace roofs. No new bus purchases.

Warren County

Carlisle: Postponed purchase of two school buses, reduced textbook purchases by 50 percent, postponed start of new middle school technology education program, eliminated mailings of interim reports and all report cards except final. Postponed non-emergency plumbing repairs, reduced spending for supplies and professional development.

Franklin: No high school busing, reduced busing for K-8; buildings close at 4 p.m., except for limited after-school activities. No funding for field trips. Eleven teaching and 10 non-teaching jobs eliminated; hiring, pay and budget freeze.

Kings: Eliminated 19 non-teaching positions as part of $2 million in personnel and program cuts for the next two years. Job cuts include one custodian from each of seven school buildings and one librarian position. Delayed textbook purchases. Cut all building and department budgets by 10 percent. Eliminated the receptionist position at central office. Cut technology aide positions. Reduced from two to one activity bus runs from high school for after-school activities.

Mason: Employees share medical premium increases; reduced teacher training, overtime and use of substitutes. Reduced energy consumption 8 percent, cut use of teacher aides. Reduced custodial staff, high school supervisors and study hall monitors.


Ludlow: Remodeling of 1970s-era science lab on hold, along with replacement of roofs at high school and middle school. Cut back on after-school tutoring

Covington: As part of effort to get budget into positive territory, district reduced staff by 109 people last year. Staffing is approximately same this year as last.


Compiled by Cindy Kranz, Jennifer Mrozowski, Sue Kiesewetter, Michael Clark

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